HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

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10 Healthy Supplements to Consider for Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or simply autism is a condition that affects the way a person’s brain functions. It also impacts the social interaction, language, and basic communication of the affected person. Children with autism may involve repetitive behaviors. 


Although there is no curable remedy for autism, the treatment is based on the individual that may involve helping the patient through their symptoms with education, self-help, skill development and socialization. Children and adults who are affected with autism may develop limited food intake or choices. Since their bodies may break down fat differently it is possible that their bodies may lack certain nutrients. This is related to selective eating, decreased gut absorption, or depletion of nutrients from chronic stress. Hence, diet changes and supplementation have proved to be very helpful methods of aiding children with autism. With enhanced food choices, you can help your autistic child better manage the daily struggles.

Following are the ten broad dietary supplements that you can consider for helping autistic people:


Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential nutrients for the development of the brain and eyes in the body. Many children with autism also suffer from Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) where the brain has trouble receiving and responding to the signals that are sent by the senses. Omega 3s have been found to be in lower levels among people with autism and therefore it becomes an important supplement to include in your child’s diet. Foods that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids are fish oil, plant oil and nuts and seeds. Omega 3s also help fight joint pain and inflammation. Here’s an honest review on Omega XL which is a dietary supplement containing benefits of 30 different fatty acids. However, more research is needed into how Omega 3s can really help autistic individuals therefore its best to take your doctor’s advice on it.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps assist the brain in creating new connections and bettering already prevailing connections. It is said to affect the neurotransmitters in the brain. Studies have shown that children with autism develop vitamin D deficiency. A daily dose of its supplement can help reduce the ASD symptoms affecting the child’s social interaction, communication and engaging in repetitive behaviors. Salmon, mackerel, tuna, fortified foods, egg yolks, milk and mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D.

Oxytocin

The chemical oxytocin is created naturally in the brain and has an effect in forming social interaction and bonding in an individual. When it comes to ASD symptoms, some children are found to have reduced oxytocin levels in their bodies and some do not. Hence, more clinical research is needed on how oxytocin can benefit kids with autism.

Melatonin

Melatonin helps regulate the sleep cycle in the body. This hormone helps in treating insomnia and those who are affected with sleeping disorders. It has been found that reduced levels of melatonin is correlated to severe ASD symptoms among kids. Effective melatonin supplementation has positive impact on autistic individuals with better sleep cycles and daytime behavior. Ask your doctor for the right dosage before starting its medicinal course. Nuts, seeds, grains like rice and barley, asparagus, tomato, olive, pomegranate, grapes and broccoli are foods that help increase levels of melatonin in the system.

Sulforaphane

Clinical trials have shown that supplements having sulforaphane (SF) have helped reduce the behavioral symptoms of people with ASD. Sulforaphane is found in broccoli sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale and mustard greens. Taking sulforaphane as a supplement can have an improved effect on social interaction, communication, and a reduction in aggressive behavior.

Methyl B 12

Methyl B12 comes from the vitamin family that plays an important role in the functioning of the body’s nervous system and it intermingles with folic acid to produce cells in the body. Children with reduced developmental capacity have an impairment in processing the body’s methyl B 12. Early lab research suggests that kids with autism showed improvement in few metabolic and cellular processes when given methyl B 12 supplements.


Vitamin C

Children with autism can find it hard to fight free radicals in the body, which can cause an imbalance in their system. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that helps protect the body from free radicals. A study with a small group showed that children with ASD symptoms showed reduction in typical autistic activities like flapping hands, pacing and rocking. However, more research is needed in this domain to find clinical evidence of benefits of vitamin C supplementation for autism. Red and green peppers, spinach, cabbage, turnip, leafy greens, winter squash, citrus fruits and tomatoes are rich sources of vitamin C.

Vitamin B-6 and Magnesium

Another great multivitamin is B-6 that has loads of health benefits. Magnesium ensures proper functioning of the brain and muscle cells and is found in many foods like whole grains, nuts and seeds and leafy greens. Vitamin B6 and magnesium are typically used together as supplements, as B6 can sometimes cause an upset stomach, and magnesium appears to counter that. Some studies have shown that children with autism may have a magnesium deficiency. Research on supplementing B-6 and magnesium is still in an early stage when it comes to ASD.

Calcium

Calcium helps you develop strong teeth and bones. Low calcium intake may lead to a high rate of bone fractures seen in children with autism. Rickets and eye-poking is often associated with calcium deficiency. Not only is calcium found in dairy products but in green leafy vegetables as well. Many calcium supplements come in the form of chewable pills, liquid and powders. It is advisable to take your doctor’s opinion for catering to autistic patients.

Zinc

Zinc plays a vital role in enzyme function, nucleic acid metabolism, growth, and cellular repair. It is a major factor in the etiology of behavioral and mood disturbances in humans and its deficiency is high in children diagnosed with ASD. Meat foods, nuts and seeds, seafood and legumes are rich in zinc.

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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content